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Japanese companies check supply chains for human rights abuses

Kao investigates palm plantations and Shionogi looks into suppliers in India

An instructor from Kao's palm oil supplier teaches planting methods in Sumatra, Indonesia. Palm plantations have devastated wildlife in Southeast Asia.

TOKYO -- Some of Japan's leading companies will look into their suppliers for human rights violations, including the possible use of forced labor, as global brands confront a hidden risk in supply chains spanning the globe.

Cosmetics maker Kao plans to launch an investigation into palm plantations, while pharmaceutical company Shionogi will do the same at suppliers in India, Nikkei has learned.

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